Cathedral Of Immaculate Conception

1.      Dedicated to the Lady of Immaculate Conception, work on this church started in 1846, and it was completed and blessed in 1848. The cathedral was designed by an Italian architect from Florence called Rev. Fr. Bonaventure. The church was consequently busted in the 1857 war of independence and then repaired. The church was further consecrated in 1899. 2.      Over time, various improvements and repairs have taken place at the church to .Continue reading

Akbar’s Tomb Sikandra

A short distance away from the city centre of Agra, in Sikandra lies the tomb of the Mughal King Akbar. The making of the mausoleum is said to have commenced during Emperor Akbar's lifetime in 1604 but concluded during his son Jehangir's reign. The tomb was finally completed between 1612 and 1614 as per inscriptions on the south gate of the tomb.The tomb complexThe main tomb building has five storeys in the shape of a truncated pyramid and is built on a raised platform. The entire complex surrou.Continue reading

Agra Jama Masjid

The Jama Masjid of Agra or "Jami Masjid" as it is also known was built by Shah Jahan in 1648 for his daughter Princess Jahanara Begum. Located near the Delhi Gate of the Agra Fort, it is said that construction of the masjid was completed in almost six years using almost 5,000 workers! The mosque is a sight to consider and is a must-see on any visit to Agra. Delicate architecture The Buland Darwaza is the grand entrance which leads to the Jama Masjid. The mosque is located on an elevated pl.Continue reading

Agra Fort

The Agra Fort is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Having been in existence since the 11th Century, the fort belonged to the kings of the Lodi dynasty before they were defeated by the first Mughal king Babur. The fort passed hands a few times as the Mughal kings won and lost battles, but Akbar, realizing the importance of having the fort in his control shifted his capital to Agra, more specifically to Agra Fort. Akbar renovate a large part of the fort when he moved there, but final touches to br.Continue reading

The Charbagh Gardens of the Taj Mahal

The Mughals were very fond of gardens and built many beautiful parks and green spaces in their cities and within their palaces. Their tombs are usually placed in the centre of a charbagh (four-quartered) garden. The Taj Mahal unique in this pattern because the tomb is set at one end of the 300-metre garden. However, the recent discovery by the Archaeological Survey of India of the moonlit garden on the far side of the Yamuna river suggest that the Taj Mahal and its associated structures may not .Continue reading

The actual tombs in the Taj Mahal

The false tombs in the main hall of the Taj Mahal are surrounded by finely carved latticework or jali screens. Positioned in an octagonal shape the jalis screen the tombs from the gaze of onlookers. The actual tombs are placed in a chamber below the main hall. A marble casket containing the remains of Mumtaz Mahal  lie on a marble base in the centre of the lower chamber. Inscribed on the casket are words that name and praise her . Her casket is furnished with elaborate inlay work and a carv.Continue reading

Decorative elements of the Taj Mahal

Forbidden by their religion to depict any human forms, the craftsmen and artisans covered the walls of the tomb with symmetrical, geometric designs, floral motifs, and calligraphed inscriptions from the Quran. Abd ul-Haq, one of the calligraphers who worked on the tomb got the title Amanat Khan from Shah Jahan in recognition of his excellence. He has left his mark on the tomb by incribing the line "Written by the insignificant being, Amanat Khan Shirazi" on the base of the inner side of the dome.Continue reading

The Minarets

The main tomb building is flanked by four minarets, slightly beyond the outer edge of the plinth, one on each corner. The minarets are aligned with the chamfered corners of the tomb. The minarets have a height of more than 40 metres and are constructed in such a way that if they were ever to fall they would fall away from the tomb and thus cause no damage, instead of falling towards the main structure. Each minaret has three balconies, two along its height and one at the top, covered by a chattr.Continue reading

The main hall of the Taj Mahal

The main hall contains the false decorative tombs of Mumtaz Mahal and Shah Jahan. This area has some of the finest marble lattice-work carvings and pietra dura inlay work that the world has ever seen. The actual tombs of the Mughal Empress and Emperor are located below the main hall and can be viewed by climbing down a flight of stairs to a lower chamber. This was a precaution to prevent looting and desecration of the actual tombs..Continue reading

Dome of the Taj Mahal

The grand onion-shaped dome of the Taj Mahal is an impressive 35-metres high and is placed on a 7-metre high cylinder-shaped base. At each of the four corners of the building there are small chattris located whose dome-like structures mirror the shape of the main dome. At the apex of the main dome and the smaller chattris is a lotus motif rise above by a finial, which was originally gold but is now gilded bronze polished to shine in splendour, reflected by the white marble structure beneath it. .Continue reading

The main Mausoleum

The main mausoleum is a symmetrical square building that rests on a high plinth. It can be entered from an iwan, or high arched doorway, and its roof is a giant onion-shaped dome topped with a proud gilded finial. The external walls of the square mausoleum are 55 metres long on each side and have chamfered corners, which lead to the building being shapeed like an unequal octagon. On each of the long wall there is a vaulted archway or pishtaq around the iwan. On both sides of the arch are smaller.Continue reading

The Taj Mahal Complex

The entire set of buildings that constitute the Taj Mahal complex include an impressive decorative gateway, inscribed with inscriptions from the Quran; a spacious garden bisected by a central walkway in which viewing platforms, fountains and water channels are placed; a high plinth or base on which the white marble monument rests, flanked on each of its four corners by a minaret. Finally, on one side of the marble tomb is a guest house while on the other is a mosque, which complete the symmetric.Continue reading

Architecture of the Taj Mahal

The Taj Mahal is considered the pinnacle of aesthetic achievement in Mughal architecture. The Mughals had previously built many impressive structures in India, including the imposing forts at Delhi and Agra, the city of Fatehpur Sikri, the grand Jama Masjid in Delhi, and the austere tomb of Akbar in Sikandra. The Taj Mahal, was motivated by the rich tradition of Mughal architecture and the tombs of their ancestors, such as the tomb of Timur the Lame, called Gur-e-Amir, in Samarkand; the grand to.Continue reading

Taj Mahal Facts

Construction: The Taj Mahal was built over a time span of 23 years. Construction began in 1632 (after Mumtaz Mahal's death in 1631) and was completed around 1653. Timeframe: Building of the main mausoleum was completed in 1648 and the surrounding buildings and garden were completed after another five years.Number of workers: Twenty-thousand artisans and craftsmen worked to build the building, lay the lawns and carry out the intricate carvings and inlay work. Architects: The main architect was Us.Continue reading

Significance of the Taj Mahal

The Taj Mahal has great significance as the epitome of Mughal architecture in the Indian subcontinent. The mausoleum and its surrounding complex of buildings are a lesson in both Mughal history and Mughal architecture. Studying the calligraphy, the inlaid carvings, the perfect proportions of the buildings, and the geometric precision of their construction, once cannot but marvel at the excellence of the craftsmanship that has stood the test of time, but also the inspiration behind this timeless .Continue reading

A tomb like none other

Mumtaz Mahal's body was buried at the time in a garden in Burhanpur, but was later disinterred and carried in a golden casket back to Agra. It was temporarily buried in a royal garden near the banks of the river Yamuna. Shah Jahan completed his military campaign in Burhanpur and began to conceptualize the tomb he would build in memory of his lost love. Shah Jahan's period is considered the golden age of Mughal architecture, in which he had constructed the city of Shahjahanabad in Delhi, includin.Continue reading

Emperor and Empress

Their marriage was a blissful one and Khurram, who came to the throne as the Emperor Shah Jahan in 1628, after the death of his father Jahangir, drew great strength from the support that Mumtaz Mahal provided. During the course of their married life they had 14 children (of whom 7 survived) and Mumtaz Mahal travelled with Shah Jahan across the length and breadth of the Mughal Empire, even camping near battlegrounds as Shah Jahan consolidated the frontiers of his empire. As his adviser and life p.Continue reading

Mumtaz Mahal

Arjumand Banu Begum was the daughter of Asaf Khan, the elder brother of the Empress Nurjahan. She was the granddaughter of Mirza Ghias Beg, a Persian noble who rose to become the treasurer and Itimad-ud-daulah (Pillar of the State) in the Mughal court. Khurram and Arjumand face each other at a Meena Bazaar, a women's market within the palace walls where Jahangir's queens and the noble women of the court displayed items that they had made for the courtiers to purchase. Arjumand was at a shop wher.Continue reading

Khurram (Shah Jahan)

Khurram (1592 - 1666) was the third son of the Emperor Jahangir (1569-1627) and was born to Princess Manmati from the Rajput royal family of Marwar. In a time when many marriages such as his parents' was a matter of state policy, sealing allegiances between kingdoms, a love story such as Khurram and Arjumand's was rare indeed. Khurram was a favourite of his grandfather, the Mughal Emperor Akbar (1542 - 1605) and was brought up along with his brothers in the manner suited to a Mughal Prince. The .Continue reading

Places to See in Uttar Pradesh

Talking about Uttar Pradesh tourist destinations, one can talk elaborately on the picturesque sites of the Himalayan foot-hills! Uttar Pradesh tourist destinations, set amid the beautiful landscape of the Himalayas, is truly, a delight to the tourists!Places to Visit in AgraThe heritage of the Mughal dynasty and their fascinating tombs, forts and mausoleums can be easily observed in and around the city of Agra. There are also other monuments and places that are famous for their beauty and import.Continue reading